Overnight oil price surge sees day of solid gains on local market

It has been a day of solid gains on the share market, after oil prices rallied overnight.

The mood was also lifted by the release of the minutes of the US Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting — they showed the Federal Reserve was in no hurry to raise interest rates this year.

The All Ordinaries index gained 18 points to close at 5,042, while the ASX 200 index finished 0.4 of a per cent higher at 4,964.

Energy stocks led the way, buoyed by the higher oil price; the oil and gas producer Santos jumped 3.5 per cent to $3.82.

Mining stocks also advanced — goldminers led the way on gains for the yellow metal. Newcrest Mining added 2.6 per cent to $17.12.

The struggling steelmaker Arrium has been placed into voluntary administration, as its debts have blown out to more than $2 billion.

Administrator Grant Thornton will examine the viability of the company's steel and mining operations.

The future of thousands of workers around the country is now under a cloud.

As for financial stocks, the Bank of Queensland shares closed 1.2 per cent lower at $11.45 after the regional lender announced an 11 per cent rise in half-year profit to $171 million.

The bank has also hiked its variable mortgage rates for both owner-occupiers and investors.

Elsewhere in the sector, the big four banks closed mostly higher; the Commonwealth Bank was the only one to slip — down 0.2 per cent to $70.99.

Telco giant Telstra also closed lower, down 0.8 per cent to $5.18.

Just after 5:00pm (AEST) the dollar was higher against the greenback, buying 76.3 US cents.

It was also fetching 66.6 euro cents, 83 Japanese yen and 54 British pence.

In commodities, spot gold was higher at around $US1,229 an ounce.

Oil prices continued to rise through the day after an overnight jump — Brent crude was trading at $US40.14 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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